Strange days indeed
Mr. Ballmer also said Microsoft would take a wait-and-see approach about acquisitions because company executives thought the price of potential targets would fall further. That gloomy assessment offers little hope to investors trying to figure out when tech stocks, which have plunged with the overall market, will hit bottom.
Both Microsoft and Intel, which are generally conservative in their public outlooks, declined to provide forecasts for future sales, saying they were uncomfortable with the proposition in an erratic economy.
“That’s especially unusual for Microsoft,” said Brendan Barnicle, a software analyst with Pacific Crest Securities. “Historically, they have had some of the most accurate gauges of PCs, and they didn’t even try to offer guidance.”